Little Masterpiece

Things went shohin crazy at the 5th edition of the Shohin Festival.

The world of shohin returned to Crespi Bonsai in Parabiago, Milan, from 21st to 23rd of February. During the 5th edition of the Bonsai Shohin Festival, the collectors and enthusiasts from all over Europe and Italy exhibited their little masterpieces.

The exhibition opening, from left Luigi Crespi, Shitamukai Kiyokuni, Hiroki Miura and Luca Crespi
A composition by Andrea Scarenzi, first prize. Seen here in the composition: Pinus thunbergii, Trachelospermum, Ligustrum obtusifolium, Acer buergerianum, Elaeagnus and Juniperus chinensis

Many enthusiasts whether professional or new to the art, were fascinated by this extraordinary exhibition that welcomed many trees of very small dimensions no taller than 25 cm. The shohin have always attracted great attention: they appear as real trees in all their majesty, but they are scrupulously reduced to a faithful scale, so as to represent a real tree in nature. Yet they can be held on the palm of your hand. The exhibition gave the opportunity to the visitors to observe many different species of conifers and deciduous trees.

Hiroki Miura and Shitamukai Kiyokuni working on a mini forest

The Japanese Masters Hiroki Miura and Kiyokuni Shitamukai were the special guests, starting with the preview event on the Friday. During this time they met the enthusiasts, and answered the many questions on the cultivation of shohin bonsai.

The event officially kicked off bright and early on Saturday with the inauguration of the exhibition, which was followed by the shohin workshop held by Master Hiroki Miura.

In the afternoon expert Roland Schatzer, the author of the book ‘Bonsai Shohin Passion’, organized a lecture on maple, entitled ‘From seed to bonsai shohin’. This was followed by a workshop held by the two Japanese Masters who focused on shohin pots.

This year a new initiative, the ‘Mystery Boxai’ competition with seven clubs challenged to create the best shohin with plants in a mystery box. It was highly appreciated not only by the participants, but also by the public. The Bonsai Club Brixen, represented by Helmut Bachmann and Roland Schatzer, emerged the winner with the creation of a Pinus pentaphylla.
Second and third places went to Bonsai Club il Moro with the styling of a Pinus thunbergii and the Bonsai Club Rivalta with the styling of a Juniperus rigida.

The shohin composition of Roland Schatzer: Larix decidua,
Pyracantha angustifolia and Acer palmatum
Roland Schatzer: Larix decidua
A Tokonoma with two shohin displays

The Masters Hiroki Miura and Shitamukai Kiyokuni held a demonstration where they created two mini forests. Expert of the Crespi Bonsai, Gaetano Settembrini, gave free workshops and advice on their shohin to visitors.

The event ended in the late afternoon on Sunday with the presentation to the winners of the ‘Mystery Boxai’ and best shohin compositions in the exhibition; Hiroki Miura and Shitamukai Kiyokuni, as judges, awarded Andrea Scarenzi’s composition first prize, Luigi Maggioni’s composition, second prize and the third prize went to Roland Schatzer. Five merit mentions went to the Chaenomeles by Helmut Bachmann, the Taxus cuspidata by Sergio Gentile, the display in tokonoma by Matteo Massaglia, the composition of Larix decidua by Roland Schatzer and the Pinus pentaphylla by Alberto Teruzzi.

Among the most rousing moments there was the handing out of a plaque of thanks to Luigi Maggioni and Roland Schatzer for their very important role in spreading the art and knowledge of bonsai and, in particular, of shohin.

The shohin composition of Luigi Maggioni, second price. Pinus nigra, Chaenomeles japonica ‘Chojubai’, Prunus, Stewartia, Trachelospermum jasminoides and Juniperus chinensis ‘Itoigawa’
Andrea Scarenzi, won first prize. (From left to right) Shitamukai Kiyokuni, Hiroki Miura, Andrea Scarenzi and Mr. Crespi.
The shohin composition of Luigi Maggioni, received second price. (From left to right) Shitamukai Kiyokuni, Hiroki Miura, Luigi Maggioni and Mr. Crespi.
The shohin composition of Roland Schatzer, received third price. (From left to right) Shitamukai Kiyokuni, Hiroki Miura, Roland Schatzer and Mr. Crespi.
The workshop by the two Japanese Masters, Miura and Shitamukai, focused on collectible shohin pots.

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